Teaching the Political Theory Canon – AAP Pedagogy Hour

Join us for this special episode of the AAP – special because all of your hosts are actually in the same place, and special because we devote the whole episode to pedagogy. Rachel, John, and previous guest host Siddhant Issar convene in St. Louis  to discuss what it means to teach the political theory canon in our contemporary political situation. How important are all these dead white European men in shaping the politics of today? What is the best way to engage students in teaching the canon? How can one both teach the canon – as many have to do – while also challenging structures and discourses of racism, patriarchy, and colonialism? Listen in as we try to puzzle through some of these challenges. Stick around for some dream analysis, as we try to interpret a listener’s dream about mahogany rooms and never-ending curtains.

Support us on Patreon to help us upgrade our recording equipment. Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Follow us on Twitter. Like our Facebook page. RSS feed here. Thanks to Leah Dion for the intro music, to Jordan Cass for the music in between segments, and always already to B for the outro music. Get the mp3 of the episode here.

N.B. John’s syllabi are available here.


Interview: Banu Bargu on the Weaponization of Life

Over at New Books in Global Ethics and Politics, John interviewed Banu Bargu on her recent book. Thanks to the NBN, we are cross-posting the episode here.

What is the relationship between state power and self-destructive violence as a mode of political resistance? In her book Starve and Immolate: The Politics of Human Weapons (Columbia University Press, 2014), Banu Bargu (Politics, The New School) analyzes the Turkish death fast movement and explores self-inflicted death as a political practice. Amid a global intensification of the “weaponization of life,” Bargu argues for conceptualizing this self-destructive use of the body as a complex political and existential act. In doing so, she theorizes a reconfiguration of sovereignty into biosovereignty and of resistance into necroresistance. To accomplish this, the book innovatively weaves together political and critical theory with ethnography in a way that enables the self-understanding and self-narration of those in and around the death fast movement to speak to canonical thinkers and concepts.




Interview: Neil Roberts on Freedom as Marronage – Epistemic Unruliness 6

Thanks to our friends at the New Books Network, we are cross-posting John’s interview with Neil Roberts for New Books in Global Ethics here. Enjoy!

What does it mean to be free?  How can paying attention to the relationship between freedom and slavery help construct a concept and practice of freedom that is “perpetual, unfinished, and rooted in acts of flight” (181)? In his book Freedom as Marronage (University of Chicago Press, 2015), Neil Roberts (Africana Studies, Religion, and Political Science, Williams College) explores this and many other questions. Proceeding from and working with the concept and practice of marronage – modes of escape from slavery emerging from the Caribbean – Roberts articulates a theory of freedom that is historically specific while having trans-historical reverberations, and that is attentive to lived experiences of freedom and slavery. In doing so, he engages histories of the transatlantic slave trade, colonialism, diaspora, the Haitian Revolution, and American slavery. Arguing for the need to creolize political theory and philosophy, Roberts also takes up the thought and practice of W.E.B. DuBois, Hannah Arendt, Philip Petit, Frederick Douglass, Angela Davis, Toussaint L’Ouverture, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, Edouard Glissant, Rastafari, and much more.





Ep. 24 – Jane Bennett, Vibrant Matter

In this very special episode of Always Already, join all four co-hosts as they peer into the depths of Jane Bennett’s vital materialism in Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things. That’s right! Emily, Rachel, John, and B are all together to unravel the meaning of non-human agency, objects-as-subjects (or the collapse of that divide all together), and the co-implication of living and non-living entities within a political ecology…or does that distinction even ‘matter’? Along the way they talk about thing-power and its relation to politics, whether Bennett’s approach is irretrievably anthropocentric, and more. Is there an ethics to be derived from Bennett’s analysis? Listen as we lucidly (we hope) explore what an object-oriented ontology tells us about the “we” in our political engagements–and how can “we” prepare an equitable system on a plant of things and (non/human) animals? Can the group coexist all together in a hot, tiny, room? All this, and then advice about what gift to bring to a significant others’ family and about going to conferences without presenting, plus analysis a dream about flooding bathrooms.

Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Like our Facebook page. Get the mp3 of the episode here. RSS feed here. This episode’s music by Rocco & Lizzie and by B.



Interview: Nicholas Tampio on Deleuze’s Political Vision

Join B and John as they interview Nicholas Tampio, Associate Professor of Political Science at Fordham University, about his new book, Deleuze’s Political Vision, which comes out later this summer from Rowman & Littlefield. Professor Tampio tackles Deleuze and Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus, mining it for its political and ethical possibilities. Using imagination as his theoretical impetus, Tampio tells us how our tree-like vision of politics ought to be replaced by the diversified Deleuzian garden of flowers. Could a rhizomatic ethic of the garden permeate our everyday political world, shaping new political imaginaries, making room for a praxis of creativity and coalition-building? Are we, or should we be, living in a Deleuzian era, as Foucault once predicted? Can Deleuze be read as a “cutting edge” liberal? What does a Deleuzean reading of Islamic political thought look like? And just as importantly, find out where Tampio would go, and when, if he could time travel with Deleuze. Tune in and find out!

Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Like our Facebook page. Get the mp3 of the episode here. RSS feed here. This episode’s music by B.


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Tampio's diagram of the art of caution in ATP

Tampio’s diagram of the art of caution in ATP

Tracing the etymology of Deleuzean concepts

Tracing the etymology of Deleuzean concepts


Ep. 6 – Genevieve Lloyd’s Man of Reason; Carol Gould Interview on Interactive Democracy Part II

Join B, John, and guest-host Cody Campbell for an enlightening discussion of the gendered and sexed nature of reason in western philosophy. Dealing with such topics as rationality, the role of embodiment in scientific thought, the project of feminist epistemologists, and the canonicity of the western philosophy canon, this meager assemblage of cisgender white men hopes to reveal the ongoing depths of this classic of feminism, The Man of Reason: ‘Male’ and Female’ in Western Philosophy, by Genevieve Lloyd. Who is a knower? What is knowing? And who gets to decided what constitutes knowing? Is Lloyd reinscribing some of that which she critiques? These are only a few questions we attempt to answer.

We also bring you the second part of our interview with Carol Gould  (Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Political Science at The Graduate Center and Hunter College, CUNY) on her forthcoming book, Interactive Democracy: The Social Roots of Global Justice. This selection covers solidarity and empathy, the way Gould takes up feminist care ethics, social movements, and disciplinary boundaries between political theory and political philosophy.

Last but not least, we dispense advice on the social life of an academic and how to find the cool theory events in NYC.

Requests for texts for us to discuss? Advice questions to submit? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Like our Facebook page. Get the mp3 here. RSS feed here. This episode’s music by B and by Jordan Cass.